Deb Shops was a specialty retail chain store and catalog in the United States, selling women's clothing and accessories under its own private labels, as well as other labels, then exclusively an online retailer. The company was based in Philadelphia and principally served junior and plus-sized women in their early teens through their late twenties. At its peak Deb Shops operated 337 stores across 42 states. Following two bankruptcies, in 2015, it become exclusively a plus-size online store.

Deb Shops, Inc.
Formerly
  • JOY Hosiery (1932–1972)
TypePrivate
IndustryApparel, Retail
Founded1932; 90 years ago (1932)
(as a retail)
2015; 7 years ago (2015)
(as online retailer)
FounderPhilip Rounick and Aaron Weiner
HeadquartersPhiladelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
ProductsClothing, Accessories
Number of employees
2,600
Website(formerly) web.archive.org/web/20150104000639/http://www.debshops.com

HistoryEdit

The company was founded by Philip Rounick and Aaron Weiner, who opened their first store under the name JOY Hosiery in Philadelphia in 1932. JOY Hosiery initially sold reasonably priced hosiery, lingerie, and foundations in a wide variety of styles. In 1939, newly available nylon stockings were added to its inventory.[1]

The company expanded in the Philadelphia area in the 1950s. The company co-founder Philip Rounick's son, Marvin Rounick, became more involved in the management of the company after joining in 1961. Co-founder Aaron Weiner's son, Warren Weiner, followed suit in 1965. During this time the company observed the new phenomenon of suburban growth and construction of shopping malls. They decided to open stores in several locations, make the stores larger, and offer more merchandise.[1]

In the 1970s, Marvin Rounick and Warren Weiner closed most of the neighborhood stores and focused on opening larger stores in shopping malls. The chain was renamed to Deb Shops and re-focused on women's and girls' clothing.[1]

Deb Shops acquired Atlantic Book Stores in 1995. In 1998, it operated 18 Atlantic book outlets, includiung 12 largely seasonally operated small Atlantic Book Shops in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey resort towns, along with six larger Atlantic Book Warehouses carrying a full line of book titles and magazines,[2] and reported combined retail sales of $205.1 million.[3][2]

The company was listed on the NASDAQ Exchange under the ticker symbol DEBS. However it was removed from the exchange after being acquired in 2007 by the investment firm of Lee Equity Partners for $395 million, or $28.45 per share.[4]

The company parent DSI Holdings filed for bankruptcy on June 27, 2011.[5] They filed for bankruptcy again on December 4, 2014.[6] On January 7, 2015, they announced that they would close all 295 stores.[7] The final sales happened on March 30, 2015. By September 2015 the company returned as an online-only retailer selling plus-size clothing. They shut down their website at the end of 2018 in December without warning. The last posts from the company's social media were about sales in November and December of 2015.[8]

Following the dissolution of Deb Shops, a separate, Israeli-owned, US-incorporated company, ASBS Holdings Inc., published a plus-size online store under the same name, with the addition of a hyphen in its website name and url, using the tagline, "Your Plus Size There".[9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Deb Shops, Inc. History". FundingUniverse. Retrieved 2014-12-13.
  2. ^ a b "DEB SHOPS, INC. Form 10Q". SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  3. ^ "ATLANTIC BOOK WAREHOUSE STORE CLOSES LOCALLY". The Morning Call. Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  4. ^ "Deb Shops Checks Out of Nasdaq". Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  5. ^ Baxter, Brian (June 28, 2011). "The Bankruptcy Files: Dodgers to Tap JPMorgan Hedge Fund Loan". The Am Law Daily. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  6. ^ Hals, Tom (December 4, 2014). "Cerberus-owned Deb Shops files for bankruptcy". Reuters. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  7. ^ Northrup, Laura (January 7, 2015). "Next Teen Clothing Retailer Deb To Liquidate, Close 295 Stores". Consumerist. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
  8. ^ "The History of Deb Shops". Retrieved 2022-09-23.
  9. ^ "Deb Shops About Us". ASBS Holdings Inc. Retrieved 2022-09-24.